This section is intended to help people looking for information about the pollutants PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and lead.
PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)
These are a group of chemicals formed during incomplete combustion of almost any kind of organic material. They are present in coal extracts, internal combustion engine exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, soil, marine sediments, soot, smoke from wood burning, and even fried or grilled food.
As some of the PAHs are known carcinogens e.g. Benzo [a] pyrene their presence in the environment is a cause of concern to health authorities.
The main source of lead in the atmosphere has historically been from combustion of petrol. Since the phasing out of leaded petrol across Europe, lead levels have fallen sharply and lead monitoring is no longer considered necessary in most parts of the country.
Last updated : 10/06/2009